Identifying Issues With Your Home Furnace

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Even though it’s Texas, the winter months can bring freezing temperatures that can be made even worse when your gas furnace isn’t working correctly. When your heating and cooling system is correctly installed and regularly maintained by a professional from a trusted furnace repair HVAC company, it should operate relatively trouble-free. However, like any piece of equipment, there is always a chance you might experience problems.

Furnaces are made up of many working parts that heat our homes and make them comfortable in the winter. If you’re experiencing furnace problems, there could be several different culprits like a dirty air filter, broken furnace blower, malfunctioning flame sensor, tripped circuit breaker, or more. Here are some of the most common furnace problems and the steps you should take to begin properly heating your home.

Electrical Problems

The electrical system in your home is what keeps everything running smoothly. Signs to look for if you think you’re experiencing an electrical problem are the lights flickering or fading when your heating system kicks on. The internal electrical wiring in the furnace system may have become frayed, corroded, or disconnected. It’s important to contact a professional Rockwall HVAC repair technician as soon as possible. Electrical problems pose significant risks like fires, so it’s best to pay attention to the warning signs. 

Problems With Heat Exchanger

The furnace’s heat exchanger is a coil made up of heated tubes. Air is pushed through the heated tubes producing heat and pushing that heated air into your home. The heat exchanger handles a lot of heat, so regular furnace maintenance is important to ensure it keeps working correctly. Over time, the heat exchanger can crack or otherwise malfunction, creating heating problems. If you notice that the air coming out of your vents isn’t very warm, you might have an issue with the heat exchanger. When this piece becomes cracked or damaged, it will need to be replaced. Unfortunately, this repair is costly, although it is less expensive than replacing the entire furnace.

Strange Noises

If you hear loud noises when your heating and cooling unit is in operation, there could be several causes. For instance, adding insulation around ductwork helps to minimize noise and improve efficiency. If sounds come from the unit, here are the most common noises and potential causes.

  • Popping or Pinging – Thermal expansion can cause popping and pinging. It makes these noises when ductwork expands and contracts as it heats and cools down.
  • Rattling – If you hear rattling sounds, this could indicate loose panels that need tightening.
  • Screeching or Squealing – These noises could indicate problems with the belt, such as a slip or a replacement is necessary.
  • Grinding – Grinding is a sign the motor bearings need repair. Call a Lucas, TX HVAC company like Lyons Air & Heat for prompt furnace repair services. 

Strange Odors

When you first turn on your gas furnace, you can always expect a slight burning smell that will dissipate within an hour. This smell is usually from the dust on the coils burning off. If you’re smelling other odors, you might have a furnace problem. If you notice a moldy smell, there could be an abundance of allergens and debris in the system. If you smell a metallic odor or gas, immediately shut off the gas valve and open all windows and doors and call us at Lyons Air & Heat immediately. While you wait for one of our technicians to arrive, evacuating your home is recommended. 

Broken Blower Motor

The furnace’s blower motor moves the air through your home. If your blower motor isn’t switching on, make sure that your thermostat is on “fan only” mode. If the blower still doesn’t come on, there are a few more items to check. You can bypass the thermostat and check the furnace access panels to override the unit to run the “fan only” mode. Check the indicator light if the blower motor still doesn’t kick on. If there is an issue, the light will flash a specific sequence to indicate the problem. If the blower motor is still not working, check the circuit breaker to see if it’s been tripped. Other parts to check for blower motor issues are the motor overload, the motor capacitor, the safety switch, and the fan belt (not all models have a blower belt). If you believe your furnace issues are from a broken blower, it’s best to call a Sunnyvale HVAC technician. They’ll be able to troubleshoot and find the problem and offer solutions. 

Tripped Circuit Breaker

A temporary power surge causes your furnace to trip the circuit breaker. Once the breaker is reset and everything works as it should, there shouldn’t be any furnace problems to worry about. If the breaker continues to trip, there could be an issue. If the circuit is powering both your furnace and a heavy electrical appliance, it could cause the circuit breaker to trip. Ground faults within the circuit could also cause the breaker to trip. If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, you’ll want to call a Lavon HVAC technician to evaluate the problem. 

Unit Running Continuously

A furnace that won’t shut off is not only annoying, but it can cause wear and tear on HVAC systems and run up your electricity bill. There are a few things that you can check before calling a Sachse HVAC technician. First, check your furnace filter. Dirty furnace filters can cause the furnace to not shut off due to the dust and debris that has collected on the filter. This restricts airflow and causes the unit to overheat, which triggers the fan to run constantly, trying to cool off the unit. You’ll want to check that the furnace fan is set to “auto” or “off.” When set to “on,” it constantly runs without shutting off. Also, check the temperature that the thermostat is set to. If it’s too high, the furnace will keep running to try and reach that temperature.

If the unit is still not shutting off, a more serious problem may require an experienced technician. The issue could be because the furnace is not derated. This means the gas has not been limited, causing the furnace to overheat. One of our Lyons Air technicians can easily derate your furnace if they discover this issue. Another cause for the furnace not shutting off could be a blower problem. There could be corroded wires or a blown-out fuse, causing the blower fan not to shut off. The pilot light could also be responsible for the furnace constantly running. The pilot light is responsible for lighting the gas before it reaches the burner. If the pilot light malfunctions, the furnace can’t reach the desired temperature due to a lack of gas. 

Dirty Filter

Furnaces have air filters that keep dirt, pollutants, and other allergens from entering your home, but if the filter is dirty, it can’t work to its full ability. Depending on the type of furnace you have will determine how often you change out the furnace filter. Most filters, however, should be replaced every one to two months. If you notice that the air is not as warm as it should be in your home, you might need to change your filter. Another sign that it’s time to change your air filter is the furnace is working harder than usual. When this happens, the filter becomes full and clogged, which makes it hard for the warm air to pass through. 

Rapid Power Cycling

Sometimes, your air filter can be to blame for your HVAC unit turning on and shutting down quickly. Replacing the filter with a new, clean filter could be a simple, inexpensive, and DIY project to complete yourself. Dirty and old filters make it harder for the compressor to work efficiently, eventually leading to mechanical failures.

Call for furnace repair if the issue doesn’t resolve after changing the filter. An HVAC professional will inspect your system, source the problem, and offer solutions.

Thermostat Problems

Sometimes, the problem isn’t the furnace but your thermostat causing the furnace to malfunction. The thermostat measures the temperature in your home and tells the furnace when to begin the heating cycle. When the thermostat glitches, it can sense the wrong temperature, which can cause your furnace to either produce heat when it’s not needed or not run when it’s cold. If you’re experiencing thermostat problems, one of our licensed technicians will be able to evaluate the issue and either repair the thermostat or replace it with a new one. 

Identifying Issues With Your Home Furnace

Don’t Get Left In The Cold When Your Furnace Isn’t Working Properly

When you notice issues with an HVAC system, it’s important to schedule a furnace maintenance visit sooner than later. You never want to be stuck in the cold when Texas has one of its rare winter storms. When you trust Lyons Air and Heat with your HVAC needs, you can also sign up for our Cool Club, our annual HVAC service maintenance program. Members receive priority service as well as twice-a-year tune-ups. 

Regular heater maintenance will help identify problems sooner and extend the life of your system. Contact the HVAC experts at Lyons Air & Heat today by calling (214) 432-2859 or contacting us online


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